The National Women’s Soccer League announced Thursday that it will allow 17-year-old Jaedyn Shaw to enter the league through a discovery process that will take place on Thursday, July 7.
The league’s policy would have Shaw eligible for the 2023 draft for entry into the NWSL. The policy also allows for the NWSL to amend its rules in its discretion. For a variety of reasons, including the fact that Shaw will turn 18 in November and has already taken the necessary steps to turn professional and forgo her NCAA eligibility, the NWSL has exercised its authority and amended its entry process to allow NWSL teams to select Shaw through the discovery process.
As part of this process, any team that seeks to participate in the discovery process would need to demonstrate a plan for how they would comply with the safeguarding rules related to minors until Shaw turns 18.
“I have spent the first two months of my tenure as commissioner of the NWSL reviewing all of our policies and procedures to ensure our league is set up for success, now and in the future,” NWSL commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. “This is a special circumstance that I believe requires us to show flexibility in how we execute our policies, and as a practical matter, is part of our ongoing review of our age restriction policy. In the interim, we have determined that our best course of action is to allow Jaedyn Shaw to join the NWSL as part of this discovery process.”
The NWSL age restriction policy remains in place as the league continues to review and revise its policies and procedures and any future requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.